European Studies


EUROG005 - Social Theory

Value: 30 credits
Term: Term 1
Tutor: Dr Kevin Inston
Assessment: One assessed 6000 word essay/project (100%)

Module Description

This module examines the development of modern social theory by looking in detail at the ideas of European thinkers such as Rousseau, Marx, Arendt, Foucault, Rancière and Laclau and Mouffe.

It investigates how these thinkers conceived of society and social change, exploring themes such as inequality, historical materialism and capitalism, the public/private divide, citizenship and human rights, the subject and the social, and democracy. It also explores the methodological and philosophical premises of social theory.

Set Texts* and Preparatory reading:

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract and Discourses
  • D. McLellan (ed.), Karl Marx: Selected Writings
  • Hannah Arendt, extracts from The Human Condition and The Origins of Totalitarianism
  • Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish
  • Jacques Rancière, Dis-agreement
  • Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy
  • Ernesto Laclau, Emancipation(s)

*The set texts will be made available via Moodle. For any advice about the reading, please contact Dr Kevin Inston

Please note: This module description is accurate at the time of publication. Minor amendments may be made prior to the start of the academic year.